Search engine optimization is far from an exact science, but over the years different myths about SEO have built up that seemingly everyone buys into. If you’re smart, you’ll stop listening. It’s important to only believe what’s been true and proven about SEO — and not buy into the myths that ignorant or dishonest companies perpetuate.

 

Here are five common misconceptions about SEO that you shouldn’t believe.

 

1. It’s Too Expensive

Many companies try to do their own SEO, whether they sell executive chairs or advertise long term rehabs, because they think hiring an outside company would be too expensive. In fact, the opposite is often true: They’re losing money by doing it themselves and missing out on the leads they could be generating from successful SEO.

 

Price out what a good SEO company would charge before you write it off as too expensive.

 

2. It Takes Forever to Get Results

Once upon a time it took weeks to get a radio advertisement on the air or a newspaper ad in print, and so the results wouldn’t follow for months. But that’s not true of SEO. You can see almost instant progress when the right keywords are targeted and the correct tagging is added to your pages. The results will be proof that SEO works.

 

3. Keywords Have to Match Exactly

Too many sites get caught up in replicating the precise keyword or phrase that people search for, and they forget about actually having their headlines make sense. Better you be off one or two words than put up a headline that is confusing or makes it look as though you made a careless typo.

 

4. There’s Only One Way to Do Things

Many people talk about SEO as if it’s a practical applied science, but (see the opening line of this article again) it’s not. SEO is experimental. It changes every day. Something that worked last year may not work any longer as search engines figure out what tricks are being used to rise in the rankings — and make adjustments accordingly. Lots of times SEO is simply a matter of using common sense, which all too often gets left behind in the march for more traffic.

 

5. You Have to Rank No. 1 to Get Any Benefits

This myth is certainly left over from the early days of SEO, when people still weren’t sure what they were searching for or how to go about it. But your page does not have to be No. 1 in search results to benefit from SEO. If it’s on the second or even the third page of search results, as opposed to ranking in the ninth or 10th page before SEO, that’s progress and should be appreciated.